Aug 5, 2023 - Health

🔍 What to do if you find a tick

Graphic: Maura Losch/Axios
Graphic: Maura Losch/Axios

If you see a tick, experts say not to crush it. But you might want to flush it.⁠ ⁠

Why it matters: Some ticks have hard shells that protect them from being crushed — such as the black-legged tick that can transmit Lyme disease — and touching a tick can increase your exposure to infectious material, says Dr. Paul Mead, CDC chief in the National Center for Emerging Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.⁠

What they're saying: If you find a tick on your skin, remove it ASAP. Mead says. "A plain set of fine-tipped tweezers works very well."⁠

Be smart: You can dispose a tick by wrapping it in tape, putting it in a small jar with alcohol (if you need to preserve it) or flushing it down the toilet. If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing the tick, see your doctor.

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